BCE Names Benton County Athletes Of The Year

Adam Dean Howe
Enterprise Staff
Trey Palmer is down to his final semester of high school and throughout those years, is one of few athletes anymore who commit themselves to playing sports year around.  That commitment garners Palmer the BCE’s Warsaw Athlete of the Year for 2020. 
Palmer finished the 2019-20 high school basketball season with 334 points; a 13.9 points per game average and also averaged 2.1 assists per game.  He scored a season high 30 points in an Ozark Highlands Conference win for the Wildcats over Eldorado Springs on the night of Courtwarming.  His efforts on the basketball floor earned him 2nd team All-Conference and he was also named to the Central Missouri Media All-District team.  
Following basketball season, Palmer’s attention was directed to baseball.  Preseason throwing and workouts were going well until all was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The season was eventually canceled and Palmer’s opportunity to capitalize and build on an All-Conference season from the prior year was taken away.  
Palmer also is a member of the Sedalia Travelers baseball club, but that season was also canceled due to COVID.  The lone baseball games salvaged for Palmer were a few pickup games for Warsaw coach Johnny Eierman in a summer league.  
However, all was not necessarily lost on the basketball floor last summer for Palmer.  Several camps were canceled, unfortunately, but he was able to attend a few summer “shootouts” with teammates from Climax Springs, Skyline, Weaubleau and Kickapoo (Springfield) on his travel team, the Missouri Dawgs.  Through those games, Palmer was invited to play in the Southwest Missouri Basketball Futures Showcase where he played against some of the best players from all classes throughout the southwest portion of the state.  
Once school days resumed, Palmer’s cross country season was underway where he looked to improve on an All-State season from the previous year.  He medaled in his first two meets, maybe two of the bigger events of his season, the SWMCCCA (9th) and the Bolivar Invitational (8th).  But then, COVID struck and Palmer was quarantined as a close contact.  He lost 4 meets in 3 weeks and struggled in his return to the track.  But Palmer wouldn’t be denied as he earned All-Conference honors with a 5th place finish and All-District recognition with another 5th place finish.  His finish at the MSHSAA Cross Country State Championships wasn’t what he expected, but Palmer was happy to qualify again in his senior season. 
“I have seen the joy of his many successes over the years,” Wildcats XC coach Ehren Banfield said.  “And Trey is one of those athletes that kept me on my toes along the entire ride.”
In the late fall, Palmer returned to the basketball court for his senior season for the Wildcats.  Through the season’s first 7 games, he has scored 140 points for an average of 20.0 points per game.  He is also averaging 8.9 rebounds per game.  His season high, to date, is 28 points in a recent 75-36 OHC win over Sherwood.  
"Trey has developed into a complete scorer as opposed to being just a jump shooter," Warsaw coach Scott Floyd said.  "He is getting in the lane and to the free throw line more this year which has increased his numbers."
Palmer has 861 career points in his tenure at Warsaw and is chasing 1,000.  If he sustains his current average, that milestone should come sometime in the next month.  If it doesn’t happen on the road at Butler, in the Skyline Tournament, at Green Ridge, at Cole Camp or in the Archie Tournament, perhaps that mark could be obtained in front of a home crowd on February 1 when the Wildcats host Climax Springs.  
And whenever that hoops season draws to a close, Palmer will play his final season of high school sports for Warsaw when he suits up for Eierman and the baseball Wildcats one last time.
“Trey brings a lot to the table,” Coach Eierman said.  “He will be a leader for our team and we’re really looking forward to seeing what he is going to do for us in his senior season.”